Alien isolated score (non-AQ related)

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Anthony Neilson, Nov 17, 2003.

  1. Anthony Neilson

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    The first Alien DVD has an isolated score and an alternative music track.

    However, the isolated score often doesn't match the score on the movie itself ; and frequently, all three tracks seem to be different from each other.

    Does anyone know exactly what these scores represent ?

    And does anyone know why there's such a blatant rip-off of the "Music for strings, percussion and celeste" track by Penderecki (I think), later used to great effect in THE SHINING ? Has Goldsmith acknowledged its use ? Does it have something to do with his alleged fall-out with Ridley Scott ?
     
  2. Felix Martinez

    Felix Martinez Screenwriter

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  3. Robert Anthony

    Robert Anthony Producer

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    Ridley Scott and Goldsmith had a hard time scoring the flick--basically, Ridley chopped Jerry's score up and inserted some of the temp music into the actual movie itself in some cases. I think what's on the isolated score track is what Goldsmith actually composed for the movie before Ridley went at it, and the alternative music track is a weird combo of the two, with production audio put in where score isn't. There are different lines and different delivery of lines and such on the production audio along with different music cues.

    the AQ set deals with this, apparently, from what I've read in reviews.

    I'm sure someone else can fill you in a lot better than my half-ass explanation [​IMG]
     
  4. Kenneth English

    Kenneth English Second Unit

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  5. Kevin_H

    Kevin_H Stunt Coordinator

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  6. Neil S. Bulk

    Neil S. Bulk Screenwriter

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    The main isolated score track is the music as Goldsmith originally wrote it. Somethings do not match up because Goldsmith scored sections that were re-edited after scoring. That's why parts of "The Landing" do not match up. Goldsmith scored an earlier edit of the film.

    The second audio track has the music from Freud that was tracked in as well as alternate cues that Goldsmith wrote. For instance, Goldsmith wrote 2 versions of the Main Title. The original version of the Main Title was unused in the film, but since that was Goldsmith's initial composition it is presented on the first isolated score track. The alternate Main Title (which was used in the movie) was written later and is presented on the second track. Also, the Main Title music was definitely written for ALIEN. And as stated above it was also tracked into the alien planet section of the film.

    Musically, ALIEN is a mess.

    Neil
     
  7. Felix Martinez

    Felix Martinez Screenwriter

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    It was also a bit odd seeing Patton recently and hearing those staccatto/repeated horn motif! I kept watching the skies for the Nostromo...

    Cheers,
     
  8. Anthony Neilson

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    Kevin - wow ! Well done. [​IMG]
    Makes me feel twice the idiot for saying it was Penderecki instead of Bartok. Didn't have my copy of THE SHINING to hand.

    But anyone who hasn't noticed, listen to the music under Jack Nicholson's "wish we could stay here forever and ever" scene with Danny on his knee, and then listen to the music under Dallas in the ventilation shaft (the actual score, not the alternative).
    No disrespect to Jerry - one of the last truly great film composers - but to call it "inspired by" is pretty generous.

    Though I did notice, Kevin, that - on the isolated score - the Mozart carries on right into the scene where they search for Kane's ex-facehugger.
     
  9. oscar_merkx

    oscar_merkx Lead Actor

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    thanks for all the info folks, might as well buy the original Alien DVD if I can find it

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Anthony Neilson

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    Yeah, it IS a real shame that these isolated scores won't be available on the AQ for those who don't have them. It's the best use of the feature ever, imo ; even more so because Goldsmith's original score (or, rather, Ridley Scott's selection from it) is currently unavailable on CD.
     
  11. GregK

    GregK Screenwriter

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    I might be off here, but isn't the isolated music score derived from the 70mm temp mix that was also used for the AC-3 (DD) Alien laserdisc? I remember the LD score being very different in certain places when compared to the DD 4.0 (coded as DD 5.1) Alien DVD. But I only own the laserdisc and did the DVD/LD comparison some time ago...
     
  12. Michael Harris

    Michael Harris Screenwriter

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  13. Neil S. Bulk

    Neil S. Bulk Screenwriter

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  14. Kevin_H

    Kevin_H Stunt Coordinator

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    You know, once I got over the fact that the "Romantic Symphony" was a completely wrong piece of music to end "Alien" on, I realized that the Symphony itself is actually a rather beautiful piece of composition. I think I make take your suggestion and check out more of Hanson's music.

    On a side note, I have come to the conclusion that nine out of ten edits to Goldsmith's score that Scott made are correct. The only time I really disagree with Scott did was to bring in the "Freud" music or "the Romantic Symphony." In the case of the "Freud" music, the difference in the music is significant enough where it pulls the audience out of the movie.

    In the case of the "Romantic Symphony", that piece of music, while beautiful is completely wrong for the end of "Alien", in which all the characters in the movie except one get killed. The "Romantic Symphony" is, well, too romantic for the end of such a movie. Goldsmith I thought really captured the sense of bittersweetness Ripley had of surviving but yet everyone else dying.


    As to the times when Scott was correct I think the blame has to rest on Scott and not on Goldsmith. I watched the AMC making of Alien documentary and they had a quote from Tom Skerritt that the only piece of direction he got from Scott during the entire shoot was "interesting". Likewise, I read an interview with Goldsmith from 1986 where Goldsmith said that he got absolutely no feedback from Scott during the entire duration of scoring.

    Goldsmith was basically left to his own devices and did the best he could under the circumstances. I think if Scott had told Goldsmith the problems up front, Goldsmith would have easily been able to make the adjustments. If you look at the DVD of "Star Trek: The Motion Picture", a movie made in the same year, you see that Goldsmith's first version of the music where Kirk first sees the Enterprise didn't work. Robert Wise told Goldsmith that there was no "Star Trek" theme, then Goldsmith went away, made the adjustment and the result is a classic piece of music. If Scott was upfront with Goldsmith, the result would have been a much better score that ended up in the movie.

    I think Scott at that point in his career was more comfortable as a technical director (which he is an incredible one, and still is) and less comfortable directing actors or composers. In fairness to Scott, even by "Thelma and Louise" you can see he had made great strides in that area and I think he is the best director working today.

    By the way, Anthony, thanks for the compliment. [​IMG]
     
  15. Mark_TS

    Mark_TS Screenwriter

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    I think Ridley Scott made excellent choices in his approach to scoring ALIEN.
    He wanted MOOD over bombast.
    Much of Goldsmiths score as found on the CD seems somewhat cliched "Hollywood Space-epic" in style, IMHO.

    The delecate nuances Scott used in the film drew me in instantly.
    Though all of the music is Goldsmiths, (save end credits) some re-arranging of pieces was necessary.

    I think the very quiet, eerie flute motif during the opening credits/Jockey scene was brilliant in its almost Zen-like simplicity.
    To me it implied a dark, vast, ancient mystery-and a warning that something old, something evil, was lurking...

    I also think Hansons Symphony nr 2 was also a brilliant move-its soothing mood is fitting relief after 2 hours of tension, with its ending that speaks of triumph AND of sadness, tragedy, and loss.
    And the awakening (?) from a nightmare.
     
  16. Kenneth English

    Kenneth English Second Unit

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  17. Neil S. Bulk

    Neil S. Bulk Screenwriter

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  18. Kevin_H

    Kevin_H Stunt Coordinator

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